Friday, 13 July 2018

Need to Vent


Two months ago, I wrote a post entitled A Breath of Air; mentioning the installation of a new ventilation system in my building back in May, leaving us with “no air” during the first abnormal heatway setting in just then – and the relief I felt when ventilation was finally back on. As far as I can tell, it has been working fairly well since then – of course it’s still been an extremely hot summer, which means we don’t escape feeling that indoors as well. But having lived in this flat ten years now, at least I was able to say that in spite of the really extraordinary weather situation, the indoors climate was probably somewhat better than previous summers. That is, until

Not sure exactly which day I started to notice – it may have been a gradual revelation towards the end of last week. At first I just blamed the weather (and supposedly everyone else does, too); but gradually since Thursday or Friday, I started getting aware that there must be more to it. Like, way too much condensation on the mirrors in the bathroom if I took a shower in the evening before going to bed, and the towels not drying over night either… The nights were hot and stifling too – in spite of open windows and my own table fans going all night at full speed too. But in the mornings it was a little cooler, and sometimes I fell back to sleep, and when I finally got up, the ventilation in the bathroom was definitely on, whirring away as usual.

I think it was Friday night that I started to get seriously suspicious, noting that the ventilation was definitely off in the late evening and over night. However, in the morning it was back on again, and working all day on Saturdayuntil late evening, when it went off again. Then came Sunday, and that whole day the air stood still and it felt really hot and oppressive. At lunch time I noted that the kitchen fan wasn’t working either. (I ended up skipping hot food!). I was going to phone in an error report on Monday morning when the office opened – but then the ventilation was back on again?! - both in the kitchen and in the bathroom. So I thought they must have fixed it…

Until… Late evening, it was off, again, and remained off throughout the night, again. Tuesday morning, however – back on, again. But then I called to make an error report, even though unable to be very specific. (“It’s been on and off and on and off and now it’s on again…” How does one make that sound convincing??) The man answering said he’d tell someone to have a look at it. (And maybe they did; but of course in the daytime it was working just fine – so…)

Tuesday night… Yes, you probably already guessed: It went off again! Another night with “no air” – but on Wednesday morning, of course – back on again! I took a deep breath and called the office again. Different person answering the phone this time. I tried to explain and said that it seemed to me that there must be some timer setting on it, and was that on purpose? (If so, I did not think it a wise choice…) She called me back later and reassured med that a/ ventilation is meant be “on” around the clock where I live; and b/ apparently someone had been to check on it that same morning - but had not (of course) found any fault…

That afternoon, I had the laundry room, and while down there folding my laundry etc, I was looking at the booking board, and listening to the noise from the drying cabinet… And it suddenly struck me that the laundry room is in use from 07:00 in the morning until 21:00 in the evening, but not over night, and not at all on Sundays… I’ve never tried to use the room outside the given time frames myself, but I’m pretty sure they must have it on timer to prevent that from happening…

Of course, in the evening, the ventilation in the bathroom (and kitchen) again stopped some time after 21:00 (it was definitely off at 22:00). And on Thursday morning, it was back on again shortly after 7:00. I called again to report this. Unfortunately, this time it was a third person (younger female) who answered the phone, and I couldn’t really tell if she understood what I meant when I tried to explain my growing suspicion that somehow the timer setting for the flats had got changed to be the same as for the laundry room… (Not being a technician myself, alas I have no idea exactly how the system works.)

Obviously they either ignored this idea or still failed to find and/or correct the fault, because last night, the ventilation again went off just after 21:00, and back just after 07:00 am this morning (now I was checking the time more exactly, to be sure). So today, Friday morning, I called again… This time I think it was the same guy answering as the first time I called… He sounded unimpressed (I wouldn’t be surprised if by now I’ve become a “oh no it’s her again” at that office) but said he’d forward the message to the maintenace technician…

As on weekends there is only an Emergency number to call, I’m kind of dreading the upcoming Sunday… On weekends, there’s only an Emergency Number to call. (Like for Flooding or No Electricity – but no mentioning of No Air problems…)

Now excuse me. Have to get on with my holiday packing… One item that goes right to the top of list of Forget-Me-Nots just now is my little USB-fan!

(Photo at the top chosen just to illustrate that it’s still Too Hot…)


  1. Is there no tenants' committee or suchlike? Presumably everyone is in the same boat so surely someone else must have complained.

    1. Graham, I don't know if more people have complained or not. If it's just our building I guess others are feeling as confused as I do (or did), as it's not all easy to report something that seemed to be wrong in the night when it is actually working just fine again in the daytime. We do most reports online these days (which usually works fine) but there were no boxes to tick that fitted this problem; so that's why I decided to call. There's also the fact that we were duly notified back in May that ventilation would be off every now and then over the next couple of months for work connected to installation of the new fan. I don't think all the final controls have been completed yet. So we've kind of become used to being patient...

  2. it sounds to me like they are doing it on purpose and not admitting it. I would not give up until they fix it. I am getting hot just reading about this, hot feeling and hot tempered..keep on until they fix it is my advice and since calls are not working, go to the office. try crying, that worked with my vet call.

    1. Sandra, I don't think they're doing it on purpose; as the lady I spoke to the second day said that no, the ventilation in the flats is supposed to be on around the clock. I'm thinking the people who know the system are probably on holiday. July is the major holiday month in Sweden, and all kinds of jobs everywhere are being handled by temporary staff who don't have a clue... (That's why I called back to give them my own.) I'm afraid there is no local office to visit any more - there used to be one when I first moved here but since then they have split the organization differently and I'm not sure where they have stowed away the service technicians at the moment. I guess it wasn't considered efficient to have everone coming into their offices to cry ;) (The property belongs to a large municipal housing corporation with buildings all over the city.)

  3. I'd complain every day and demand that someone come out in the evening when it's off.

    1. Well Janet, I think I'll just try and be patient for a couple of nights more... But if it's still not fixed when I get back from my holiday, I'll seriously consider seeking them out and yell and cry until they get the job done (lol)

  4. Well, I already do not like the management. Now that you have done half of their work for them, they need to send someone to fix it. Since they know what the problem is, it should not be a long job. I am wondering if anyone else in the building is noticing this? Maybe you should talk to them, then if you all complain as a group, action would be taken. Keep us informed. And have a great trip!


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